Three NATO Strike Groups Demonstrate Combined Capabilities in Ionian Sea
Three NATO Strike Groups Demonstrate Combined Capabilities in Ionian Sea

Three NATO Strike Groups Demonstrate Combined Capabilities in Ionian Sea

Three NATO Carrier Strike Groups (CSG) demonstrated their commitment to the security and stability of the Euro-Atlantic Area during multicarrier operations while sailing in the Ionian Sea, Nov. 23, 2022. Throughout November, five allied CSGs will operate throughout the North Atlantic Ocean and Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas. Demonstrating their shared commitment to the collective defense of the Alliance, George H.W. Bush CSG, the French CSG, and Italian Cavour CSG strengthened their ability to generate credible combat power throughout the Euro-Atlantic area while underscoring NATO solidarity, interoperability, and high-end capability. Multicarrier activities demonstrate the coordination of dispersed allied and partner forces to train and operate in a joint, high-intensity security environment across all domains in the region. Routine rehearsed interoperability and interchangeability engagements enable NATO nations to enhance their collective rapid response capabilities. This ensures they are prepared to defend the Euro-Atlantic Region while maintaining a safe, secure, and prosperous Europe and global security environment.

“Opportunities for interoperability between forces and CSGs as a testament to the strength of our Alliance. Currently, we have Italian Frigates embedded with both the George H.W. Bush and French Strike groups participating alongside our Allies in their daily operations, and last month the Italian Navy fully integrated the Standing NATO Forces Group Two units into our major bi-annual fleet exercise Mare Aperto 22-2,” Rear Adm. Vincenzo Montanaro, commander of Italian Maritime Forces said.

“From the very beginning of our new deployment named ANTARES, we closely operate with Allies and share a common picture and situation assessment. Multi-carrier operations are demanding and illustrating the very highest level of coordination. Keeping a non-escalatory posture, they enhance our ability to secure wide areas, to deter from any destabilization in the Mediterranean and simultaneously, to reinforce NATO’s deterrence and defense posture on its Eastern flank,” Rear Adm. Christophe Cluzel, commander, French CSG said.

A French EH-101 helicopter, attached to the French Carrier Strike Group, lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77) during multicarrier operations, Nov. 23, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samuel Wagner)

NATO is vital to European security and U.S. national interests. Allies and Partners take every opportunity to train together, on a firm foundation of trust, to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures. CSG-10, George H.W. Bush CSG, is on a scheduled deployment in the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa area of operations, employed by U.S. Sixth Fleet to defend U.S., allied and partner interests. George H.W. Bush is the flagship of CSG-10 and the GHWBCSG. CSG-10 is comprised of George H.W. Bush, Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 7, Destroyer Squadron (DESRON) 26, the Information Warfare Commander, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Leyte Gulf (CG 55). The ships of DESRON-26 within CSG-10 are the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers USS Nitze (DDG 94), USS Farragut (DDG 99), USS Truxtun (DDG 103), and USS Delbert D. Black (DDG 119). The squadrons of CVW-7 embarked aboard George H.W. Bush are the “Jolly Rogers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 103, the “Pukin Dogs” of VFA-143, the “Bluetails” of Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron (VAW) 121, the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5, the “Sidewinders” of VFA-86, the “Nighthawks” of VFA-136, the “Patriots” of Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 140, and the “Grandmasters” of Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron (HSM) 46.

For over 80 years, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-U.S. Naval Forces Africa (NAVEUR-NAVAF) has forged strategic relationships with allies and partners, leveraging a foundation of shared values to preserve security and stability.Headquartered in Naples, Italy, NAVEUR-NAVAF operates U.S. naval forces in the U.S. European Command (USEUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (USAFRICOM) areas of responsibility. NAVEUR-NAVAF provides overall command, operational control, and coordination of U.S. Naval Forces in the European and African Command area of responsibility. As the Navy component in Europe, the commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa, plans, conducts, and supports naval operations in the European theater during peacetime, contingencies, in general war and as tasked by Commander, U.S. European Command. NAVAF works with European, African, and South American governments, including in the disruption of militant networks, deterrence of illicit trafficking, and against piracy and maritime crime. U.S. Sixth Fleet is permanently assigned to NAVEUR-NAVAF, and employs maritime forces through the full spectrum of joint and naval operations.

Aviation Boatswain’s Mate (Handling) 3rd Class Roberto Cerdas assigned to the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN 77), directs a French Rafale fighter jet onto the catapult during during multi-carrier operations between the George H.W. Bush Carrier Strike Group (CSG), Charles de Gaulle CSG, and the Italian Cavour CSG Nov. 23, 2022. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Samuel Wagner)